Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has cited Senator Cynthia Villar’s authorship and sponsorship of Republic Act 11203, also called the Rice Tarification Law (RTL), saying it was among the Duterte government’s accomplishments over the past six years in advancing the country’s economic development.
In his presentation paper entitled: “The Ship of State Has Been Masterfully Steered,” Dominguez, head of the Economic Development Cluster (EDC), listed the major achievements of the Duterte administration in expanding the national economy.
Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Food and Agriculture, was grateful for the appreciation and the recognition given by Dominguez.
The RTL was hailed as a “game changer” for its positive impact on the Philippine’s agriculture sector. “The law opened up the rice market, imposed tariff on imported rice, created the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund and lowered the price of the commodity in the market for the benefit of the general population,” Dominguez said.
Since the law was implemented, the government has earned a total of P46.6 billion in rice import tariffs. This amount directly benefitted the rice farmers who get credit access, high-quality inbred rice seeds, extension and training and farm mechanization to assist rice farmers to build productivity and enhance their competitiveness.
“The RTL was finally achieved after more than 30 years of failed attempts under previous administrations. The law opened up the Philippine rice market and in turn, lowered the price of the country’s staple food for more than 100 million Filipinos,” Dominguez noted.
He added that the RTL was a landmark law that reforms the country’s previously dysfunctional rice policy.
“Rice is no longer the main contributor to our overall inflation rate. The RTL ensures that farmers benefit directly by providing at least P10 billion each year and gives the consumers have a wider variety of rice choices now,” Dominquez added.
Among the other laws cited by Dominguez were RA 11032 or The Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, Philippine Identification System Act (RA 11055), Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN Law) or RA10963.
“The next administration will inherit many hard-won reforms and will enter the office with the basic groundwork for rapid growth already in place,” Dominguez said.